Flushing Financial in Lake Success, N.Y., reported higher quarterly earnings driven by securities gains and improved asset quality.

The $4.8 billion-asset company's net income increased 19% from a year earlier, to $11.2 million, or 38 cents a share.

Noninterest income was $7.1 million, compared to $900,000 a year earlier, after the company recorded a $5.2 million net gain from the sale of mortgage-backed securities. The company also had higher service fee revenue and an improvement in impairment charges on private-issue collateralized mortgage obligations.

Such gains offset a 12.5% increase in noninterest expenses, to $21.4 million, that reflected higher salaries and employee benefits.

Asset quality improved. The company released $600,000 from its loan-loss allowance during the quarter.

Net interest income fell 13.6%, to $32 million, primarily due to a $5.2 million prepayment penalty recorded on borrowings. Total loans increased 8.5%, to $3.5 billion, though the net interest margin compressed by 16 basis points, to 3.22%.

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